• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

6 Free STEM apps to Help Your Kids Get Ready for Back to School



If you want to get your kids ready for the 21st century job market, you need to get them exposed to technology. Many of you purchase smartphones and tablets thinking the hours they spend playing Fortnite and Mindcraft are transforming them into technology experts. I spent a fair of my youth playing video games, but I mixed my time playing on my Atari, with writing programs on my Commodore 64. There's nothing wrong with letting your kids play games, but make sure they are spending equal time using apps that incorporate Science Technology, Enginneering and Math (STEM). There are so many STEM apps available for kids these days, which makes it hard to know which ones are worth downloading. Fear not! I've taken some time to look at some of the better STEM apps out there and the best part is they are free!

1. BrainPop. This group of educational websites has been around for a while and offers over 1,000 short animated tutorials for students in grades K-12. The online quizzes and other learning materials which include music, arts, technology, engineering, math and science makes this app and website the perfect tool to help your kid with all things STEM related. 2. iNaturalist. Pokemon Go! is a great app that allows you and your kids to get outside to collect Pokemon and discover outdoor locations. iNaturalist goes a step further with outdoor exploration and helps your kids identify real world wildlife and plants and record their findings. The app also has different real world quests based on your geographic location that your kids can embark on to earn badges based on your geographic location. 3. Skyview. Want your kids to get interested in astronomy? Toss out that old school telescope and download Skyview. This incredible app allows you to help your kids explore the universe by identifying stars, planets and constellations. It's a virtual telescope that allows you to see what's in the sky around you rain or shine. 4. Hopscotch Coding App. One great way to reward your kids with game play on their smart devices is to make them create their own. Hopscotch is a coding app that will let your create their own games and publish them on the internet for anyone to play. Unlike the programming languages I grew up with, this game uses simple language. Spending time with this app could help your kids think like computer programmers. 5. King of Math 2 and King of Math Jr. Math can be hard and intimidating.That's where King of Math 2 and King of Math Junior comes it. This app makes math fun for kids of all ages. I suck at math, but I love playing the games on King of Math 2 which allows me to improve my math skills.

6. Tinkercad. If you have a kids who like to create 3D models, download Tinkercad. This app can be used to make toys, Minecraft and Fornite models, their own super hero action figures, jewelry – the list is endless! It doesn't require any previous design experience. Once your child has completed their model, they have the option to order their work from within the application. If you are one of those lucky people that has a 3D printer, you can print it out.

STEM is the future. What programs and apps have you downloaded for your kids to play that enhance their education? Drop me and let me know.

If you have any questions about your technology and your devices, please feel free to contact us. Our friendly Tech Experts are always standing by to answer your questions and help you make your technology useful and fun.


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